We had been warned it was going to be an incredibly hot weekend, I prepared myself by thinking all we need to do is to become like so many of the animals we spend so much time searching for…. Be active early morning and late afternoon and spend the middle of the day like lions – resting!
Heading out to Camp, we could already feel how hot is was going to be – the cicadas were in full song, crickets chirped loudly and the birds were all in the shade….
Yet 30m from Camp, amazingly, was a white rhino and young calf grazing in the open… What a start!!!!
Later that afternoon we headed out on our first walk, myself leading Henk and Maryke, our guests for the weekend.
Not long after we came across a hippo in a pan lazing about with some Egyptian geese and goslings, cooling themselves down.
Herds of zebra, springbok, eland all grazing on the plains with 5 white rhino all sleeping in the intense heat. We crept closer and marvelled at the ancient form sleeping in front of us – saddened by the wave of seemingly unstoppable poaching running rampant throughout South Africa over the past years.
We headed back to camp to marvel at a stunning African sunset, settle in for the night and discuss plans for the following day.
An early start was needed as it was going to get even hotter, and the secret in finding cats is getting up earlier than they do!!!
4:30am came far too soon, but after some coffee around the fire, with some yoghurt and homemade muesli, we were off.
Walking Safaris are all about the small stuff between your feet…watching, listening, feeling the magic of Africa as it pervades all of your senses.
The faster you walk, the less you see is my personal motto on any of my walks…
Ant lions and rain spiders…….insects abound in summer and fascinate with their intricate lives and social systems and various strategies for survival…
Elephant tracks…… silent giants with soles full of fat enabling silent movement….
An eland in the morning before a thunderstorm….
During the morning we came across an elephant herd moving to water, lions on a kill, buzzards that have migrated from Russia and termites frantically collecting grass before the heat became too much….
We headed back to Camp for a hearty breakfast that Zola prepared – one of his specialities….‘Explorer Omelette’….
After that, it was a day in the shade……
The afternoon followed with us tracking down 2 cheetah brothers – full bellies…. panting in the sun.
An early night followed as we were all worn down by the sun and sated following Zola’s Lamb Potjie……
A long walk in the morning was met with relief – a thunderstorm arrived at Camp just as we did for breakfast……. timing is everything on Safari!!!
Shamwari Explorer…… What a weekend!!!
By Geran Ellish